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‘You think Trump will save you?’: my nine days detained by North Korea’s secret police

Alek Sigley was studying in Pyongyang when he was blindfolded and taken to an interrogation facility where his handlers demanded he confess to his crimes Do you know what day it is? asked the man as we sat in the black Mercedes-Benz that had whisked me from the foreign student dormitory at Kim Il-sung university, where I had been living in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. I knew full well, but he answered his own question: Its the day the US imperialists invaded and started the war. It was Tuesday…

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Coronavirus outliers: four nations with very different approaches to the crisis

Some nations have managed to maintain surprisingly low death rates even without swinging into lockdown Harrowing images of emergency workers struggling to cope with the onslaught of Covid-19 cases have made front pages around the world, highlighting the terrible impact the disease is having. Death tolls in Italy and Spain have been especially alarming. But not every nation has suffered to the same grim extent. Some have avoided lockdowns but have still not suffered huge leaps in case numbers. Others have introduced strict monitoring and contact tracing of infected individuals…

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How Mexicans help satisfy British demand for blood plasma

A growing source of the UKs blood plasma is from Mexicans crossing the border into the US and donating at high frequencies, which some experts fear could risk their health The first time I went, I wanted to cry, said Luca, a mother of three, describing how her economic situation would compel her to do the journey from her home in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Jurez to line up outside a blood plasma donation center in El Paso, Texas. There are more than 800 such facilities in the…

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics in doubt as Canada becomes first team to pull out over coronavirus

Canada takes action to protect public health as Australia tells its athletes to prepare for Games in 2021 Canada has become the first country to warn that it wont send its athletes to the coronavirus pandemic. The Canadian Olympic Committee said holding the Games as planned would threaten the health of its athletes, their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow, it said in a statement,…

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Rand Paul becomes first senator to test positive for Covid-19

Senator of Kentucky who was seen at the Senate gym Sunday morning says he is feeling fine and is in quarantine Senator Rand Paul has said he has tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, with the Republican becoming the first member of the Senate to test positive. A post on the Kentucky senators Twitter account said on Sunday that he is feeling fine and is in quarantine. Paul, an eye surgeon, said he has not had symptoms and was tested out of an abundance of caution due…

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‘Be careful’: Spain’s last 1918 flu survivor offers warning on coronavirus

Jos Ameal Pea, 105, is watching on anxiously as a new pandemic sweeps globe Jos Ameal Pea was four years old when the 1918 flu tore through his small fishing town in northern Spain, its deadly path narrated by the daily ringing of church bells. More than a century later, Ameal Pea believed to be Spains only living survivor of a pandemic said to be the after the countrys press were among the first to report on it, killed between 50 and 100 million people around the world. In Ameal…

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Can a face mask protect me from coronavirus? Covid-19 myths busted

The truth about how you can catch coronavirus, how much more elderly people are at risk and what you can do to avoid infection Claim: Face masks dont work Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you wont get sick viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks. However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, and some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone (although…

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Two Canadian provinces declare state of emergency as Covid-19 fears deepen

Cases in British Columbia almost double in one day, while Ontario premier says it faces danger of major proportions Two provinces in Canada have declared states of emergency and another witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases as fears of a widespread outbreak nationwide continue to deepen. As prime minister Justin Trudeau prepares to unleash a stimulus package worth at least C$20bn (US$14bn), British Columbia announced another 83 confirmed cases on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the provinces total confirmed Covid-19 infections to 186. In her daily briefing, provincial health officer Dr Bonnie…

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‘Easiest time I’ve ever had’: US airports return to calm after travel ban chaos

Travelers arrived in New York on half-empty European flights with little hassle after people endured long waits over the weekend The chaos that enveloped some US airports as European travel ban went into effect over the weekend was little in evidence Monday as passengers arrived in New York off a dwindling number of European flights. It was the easiest time Ive ever had, said Meroula Hondrow, stepping of a half-empty Virgin Atlantic plane from Heathrow. I was expecting queues and hassle but there was none. Passengers, she said, had their…

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Coronavirus deals China’s economy a ‘bigger blow than global financial crisis’

Factory production plummets at the fastest pace seen in three decades, as first-quarter figures emerge China has suffered even deeper economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic than predicted, with figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday showing factory production inside the country dropped at the fastest pace seen in three decades. Financial analysts have said the economic impact of the pandemic may have cut Chinas growth in half during the first quarter. Industrial output fell 13.5% in January-February, compared with 2019, which ING economist Iris Pang…

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Facebook to remove misleading Trump ‘census’ ads

Presidents re-election campaign had sponsored misleading ads, which actually linked to Republican fundraising site Facebook has announced it will remove a series of misleading ads from Donald Trumps re-election campaign. The Trump Make America Great Committee posted 2,000 iterations of an ad this week, asking users to respond to the Official Congressional District Census. Instead of information at the Census Bureau, however, the posts linked to a once-in-a-decade event that seeks to count every person in the country, with drastic consequences for resource allocation and government representation nationwide. Trumps campaign…

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‘We left fearing for our lives’: doctors set upon by mob in Lesbos

Attack on aid workers further exposes tensions on island on the frontline of refugee crisis A group of doctors who flew to Lesbos to volunteer at the islands infamous Moria migrant camp have described how they were forced to flee after being set upon by a mob wielding nail-headed cudgels. The attack was the the latest in a series of violent incidents targeting international aid workers, amid an increasingly hostile climate which has prompted several NGOs to withdraw from the Mediterranean island. We left fearing for our lives, said Dr…

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Susan Fowler: When the time came to blow the whistle on Uber, I was ready

The former Uber engineer has written a memoir about exposing the companys systemic sexism she hopes it will help other women in the industry Before Susan Fowler was a whistleblower she was a violinist, and before she was a violinist she fed fruit flies to spiders that were milked for their venom at a small Arizona business known as Spider Pharm. In February 2017, Fowler was thrown into the public eye after she published a damning blogpost exposing the toxic sexism she experienced working as a software engineer at Uber.…

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‘America v socialism’: conservatives rage against the left and plot new red scare

At the Trump faithfuls annual get-together, there was fresh fearmongering about Democrats in general and Bernie Sanders in particular It came from abroad and infected America. It can spread from person to person and is potentially fatal. When symptoms emerge, it may already be too late. Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The virus is not going to sink the American economy, he said at the National Harbor near Washington. What is, or could, sink the American economy is the socialism coming from our friends on the other side of the…

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested on charges of illegal assembly

Lai, who was arrested with two other activists and later released on bail, has been a major financial patron of Hong Kongs pro-democracy movement Hong Kong police arrested three veteran pro-democracy figures for taking part in an unauthorised anti-government march last year amid the citys most serious political crisis for decades. Jimmy Lai, the 71-year-old founder of Next Media, which publishes the popular, anti-government Apple Daily newspaper, was picked up by police on Friday morning for taking part in a march banned by police on 31 August. Lai, a self-made…

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